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Yemen: Thousands Protest on Day of Rage

This post is part of our special coverage Yemen Protests 2011.

Yemen's Day of Rage protests have started, and the scramble in on for online resources and people on the ground to tell us their story in their own words.

On Twitter, reports are circulating of ‘hundreds of thousands” of protesters calling for an end of president Ali Abdullah Saleh's regime, despite concessions made over the last few days.

Brian Whitaker has decided to dedicate his day to blogging about Yemen, and his blog will be featuring up-to-the minute developments.

He writes:

Today has been declared a “day of rage” in Yemen and a demonstration is about to start in Sanaa as I write. This follows a series of protests in the capital last month (here and here) in which several thousands took part. The organisers are hoping for a much bigger turnout today – but that remains to be seen.

Jane Novak, who blogs about Yemen, says the protest has been switched at the last minute from Tahrir Square (like Cairo, Sanaa has one too) to the new university roundabout due to “regime thugs camped out in Tahrir Square with car loads of guns”.

The interior ministry announced yesterday that it has set up roadblocks around Sanaa and stepped up its security forces – supposedly to stop people smuggling weapons into the city.

Meanwhile some (but not all) of the government websites have
gone down, including the websites of the president and parliament. It is possible they have been attacked by the Anonymous hacking group.

A Yemeni website, https://yemenportal.net/protests, with a mirror site at http://crowdvoice.org/yemen, is covering the events in Arabic, but Twitter and Facebook are not playing much of a part in the Yemeni protests. Internet penetration in the country is less than 2%, compared with 21% in Egypt and 34% in Tunisia.

With Internet penetration being so low, the hunt is on for people on the ground, tweeting the developments.

Here's part of the conversation on Twitter:

@wsaqaf: Hundreds of thousands protesting in #Yemen calling for end of Saleh's regime. http://goo.gl/7HVti (Arabic live updates) #feb3

@Brian_Whit: Internet users in Yemen are less than 2% of population. Egypt 21%, Tunisia 34%. #yemen #feb3 #jr_yemen

@Brian_Whit: Plenty of others covering Egypt. I will be tweeting mainly on Yemen today. #yemen #feb3 #jr_yemen

@muadshibani: #Yemen #Feb3 about thousandths of protesters demonstrate in Aden

@al3ini: more than 100 thousand demonstrators in front of city sports stadium in Ebb #Yemen #feb3 #jr_Yemen #hood

@al3ini: Elements of the ruling party, handing out pictures of the president in opposition demonstration in Hajja #Yemen #hood #feb3 #jr_yemen

@al3ini: The supporters of president are throwing his pictures over the oppositions from the roofs of the building #Yemen #feb3 #jr_yemen

@YemenPeaceNews: via @ionacraig Soldiers on the roof next door to the university protesters, but looks peaceful so far. #yemen #feb3

@clemtan: Another long day/night w/ #Yemen looking to have joined #Egypt and #Tunisia in this roulette game of revolt against dictatorial regimes.


@al3ini: First pictures for the demonstration in Sanaa #yemen #feb3 #Egypt #hood #jan25 #jr_yemen http://yfrog.com/h2tiaij

@al3ini: Experts estimate the number of opposition protesters in Sanaa, one hundred and fifty thousand #Yemen #feb3 (cont) http://tl.gd/8ipgpt

@YemenPeaceNews: via @ibiibrahim only 1.2 miles between the 10,000+ protesters in Sana’ University and the 20,000+ pro-Saleh in Tahrir square #yemen #feb3

@umairh: Youth unemployment: #Yemen 49%, #Palestine 38%, #Morocco 35%, #Egypt 33%, #Tunisia 26%. Staggering? Try: Europe: 30-50%, USA: 25-50%.

@khairolnizam: yemen's next eh

@_x4o: GREAT YEMEN RESOURCE: MidEast Youth Launches Crowdvoice for Yemeni Day of Rage http://ow.ly/3Pp22 #feb3 #jr_yemen #yemen #cables #wikileaks

@giantpandinha: People in Yemen to follow @WomanfromYemen @ionacraig @JebBoone @nefermaat @alaalsam via @avinunu's list http://bit.ly/gSrnvE #Feb3

@Snemyllas: @ionacraig @Nefermaat and @TomFinn_ are reporters online live from Sana'a today #Feb3 #JR_Yemen

@giantpandinha: Today is Yemen's day #Feb3. Follow @Brian_Whit of Guardian. Still looking for people tweeting on the ground. Only 2% have net access there!

@Snemyllas: @cheisback @pascaluccelli @avinunu Use #JR_Yemen or #Feb3 pls on #Yemen's #ArabRev. #Feb11 on Aden's demo next week

@3beee: Reminder: Hashtag dates already being planned for Arab world- Sudan #Jan30 Yemen #Feb3 Syria #Feb5 Algeria #Feb12 Bahrain #Feb14 #fb

@hippodamos: report any human rights violations during the rallies on #Feb3 in #Yemen at either 777367213 or 714498956

This post is part of our special coverage Yemen Protests 2011.

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